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Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Nov. 4, 2022)

Washington Business Journal cites D.C. Property Tax Administration's assessment of the market value of the nation’s highest profile government buildings, such as the White House. The Empire State Building is among a number of office buildings that have installed beehives recently as part of an effort to bring back tenants, reports Commercial Observer. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Rents Creep Down Across the Country “Today, rents remain much higher than they were a year ago in all but 10 U.S. cities, according to Zumper’s October National Rent Report, which examined the 100 largest U.S. cities. At the high end, one-bedroom rents were up 40 percent in Chesapeake, Va., and two-bedroom rents were up 33 percent in Knoxville, Tenn. The most expensive rents for units of both sizes were found in New York City. But in looking at recent month-over-month changes in median rent, a new trend has emerged: After peaking in April, the national median rent for both one- and two-bedroom units has been falling in the 100 largest U.S. cities, according to Zumper’s report.” (The New York Times)
  2. Older, White and Wealthy Home Buyers Are Pushing Others Out of the Market “American home buyers are older, whiter and wealthier than at any time in recent memory, with first-time buyers accounting for the smallest share of the market in 41 years, the National Association of Realtors found in its annual profile of home buyers and sellers. White buyers accounted for 88 percent of home sales during the survey period, up from 82 percent during the same period a year earlier, reaching the highest level in 25 years, according to the association’s findings.” (The New York Times)
  3. Home Buyers Are Moving Farther Away Than Ever Before “The rise of remote work and the ballooning cost of housing in major metro areas are leading Americans to move much farther away when buying a home. Buyers who purchased homes in the year ended in June moved a median of 50 miles from their previous residences, according to a National Association of Realtors survey released Thursday. That distance is the highest on record in annual data going back to 2005 and follows five straight years in which the median distance moved was constant at 15 miles, NAR said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Here's How Much D.C. Says the White House, U.S. Capitol Are Worth “The White House, no matter its resident, is priceless real estate. But that hasn’t stopped the District from trying to attach a monetary value to its most famous address. Though it can’t tax them, D.C.’s Office of Tax and Revenue still assesses properties owned by the District or federal governments, educational institutions, religious organizations and other tax-exempt entities. D.C. code requires it, for all properties across the city, taxable or not.” (Washington Business Journal)
  5. Veris Rejects Kushner Companies’ Unsolicited Bid “Veris Residential rejected Kushner Companies’ unsolicited bid to acquire the New Jersey rental owner. Veris announced the board’s unanimous rejection of Kushner’s offer on Thursday, nearly two weeks after Charles Kushner’s company proposed acquiring the real estate investment trust for $16 per share, valuing the firm at $4.3 billion. Veris’ board claimed in a letter to Kushner the proposal “grossly” undervalued the REIT.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Eric Ulrich Resigns as NYC Building Commissioner in Wake of Gambling Allegations “Eric Ulrich has stepped down as buildings commissioner in the wake of reports that he was questioned about an illegal gambling investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney's office. ‘This morning, Eric Ulrich tendered his resignation as DOB commissioner in an effort to, in his words, avoid ‘unnecessary distraction for the Adams administration.’’ City Hall spokesman Fabien Levy said in a statement. ‘We have accepted his resignation, appreciate him taking this step, and wish him well. We have no further knowledge of any investigation and, out of respect for his and his family’s privacy, have nothing further to add.’” (Gothamist)
  7. Empire State Building Latest Property to Turn to Bees to Bring Tenants Back “The Empire State Building joined the growing number of New York City office buildings with thousands of tiny, winged tenants, and Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) is positively buzzing with the news. ESRT put beehives on the sixth floor of the iconic skyscraper, the fifth floor of 111 West 33rd Street and the roofs of 501 Seventh Avenue and 1350 Broadway in an effort to pollinate the surrounding flora and attract tenants with another return-to-work free-bee.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. Rick Caruso’s Dead Made Two Fortunes, Did Jail Time. How He Shaped His Son’s Ambitions. “The year was 1960 and Southern California’s most famous car salesman was going to jail. Millions had come to know Henry J. Caruso by his ubiquitous radio and TV ads, in which the dapper dealer pitched the latest from Ford and Dodge and singers belted, ‘H.J. Caruso — He’s the greatest.’ Reporters called Caruso a ‘phenom’ who at 30 already had customers flocking to his lots in Compton, North Hollywood, Pasadena and Long Beach, snapping up more than 1,000 cars a month and making him one of the nation’s largest auto dealers.” (Los Angeles Times)
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